Category Archives: Development Camp

Development Camp

Better Know a Prospect: Evgeny Kuznetsov

“Better Know a Prospect” will be a series of posts profiling both the better known and lesser known Caps prospects in the various levels of the Capitals system

(Picture via Russian Machine Never Breaks)

Name: Evgeny Kuznetsov

Born: May, 19th 1992 (Chelyabinsk, Russia)

Height/Weight: 6 foot/172 lbs

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

Current Team: Traktor Chelyabinsk (KHL)

Drafted: 2010, 26th overall by the Capitals

  • Helped Russia win silver in 2009 U18 tournament
  • Evgeny was captain of the Russian U18 in 2010
  • Check out those sweet Crocs
  • “McPhee said he was so eager to select Kuznetsov, he attempted to trade a prospect in order to move up as many as 10 spots. As it turned out, that wasn’t necessary.” – Tarik El-Bashir
  • Stats (via Wikipedia)

  • “We think he’s a very, very dynamic player. He can skate, he thinks the game well, he moves the puck, he really attacks the net.” – George McPhee
  • Likes to model his play after Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk
  • Both Kuznetsov and fellow Russian Capitals’ prospect Dimitry Orlov expressed interest in playing in North America for the upcoming season. So far it would seem they will be staying in the KHL

 

Kuznetsov is described as fast and skilled by most who have watched him and after seeing him first hand at Capitals Development Camp the Chronicles agrees. The NHL director of European Scouting described him as;

He is fast, skillful and talented. He is also a leader on the ice, he was captain of the Russian Under-18 team and he had an excellent tournament. He is very skilled.

One scouting report from early last year praised his skill but said it seemed his intangibles were lacking, nothing unusual for a player of his young age. However it would seems that in between then and now he has matured considerably. At Development Camp he was not only looking thrilled to be on the ice, so much so as to get a Brooks Laich comparison from the Chronicles bloggers, but was often the loudest and most willing to communicate with the other players for his group (even despite the language barrier.)

Kuznetsov certainly garnered a lot of attention from the coaches, fans and media (both “new” and “old”) at the development camp. We here at the Chronicles each like to choose any where from one to three prospects from each years development camp we think will do the best and/or get signed by the Capitals organization in the upcoming year and we both had Kuznetsov on our lists.

He may need to have some time to adjust to North American style of play but in skill and personality the exuberant Kuznetsov is certainly set up for a stint in the NHL in the next few years.

(After this incident both players talked to Caps Snaps about it.)

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Filed under Better Know a Prospect, Development Camp, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Meghan's Blog, The KHL, Washington Capitals

In Which Prospects Prove They Have Manners (And Where We Size Up the Capitals’ Future)

Unlike last year, where we were only able to attend the end-of-the-week scrimmage, your Chronicles girls were front and center (okay, more like front and to the left) for the first two days of the Washington Capitals’ Development Camp. 

Monday did not get off to a good start, simply because we had a 2+ hours of commute from our hometown to get there, and on very little sleep. Surprisingly, for the first day of camp, KCI was very empty. We had been expecting a fairly large crowd, but it was a bit of a nice surprise. In the section we were sitting in, we were the only ones, save the Capitals’ management who were taking notes on all of the players.

Group A took the ice a little earlier than 9:45. The group consisted mostly of familiar faces, though there were a handful neither Meghan nor I recognized. Kathryn (@takingnames) was kind enough to write down all the of prospects and their numbers in both groups. The list is as follows:

Fowards: Cody Eakin (50), Phil DeSimone (75), Sean Wiles (91), Patrick Cullen (9), Chris Forfar (18), Evgeny Kuznetsov (48), Jake Hauswirth (77), Stefan Della Rovere (84), David deKastrozza (87), Brendan Woods (34), Anton Gustafasson (94), Andrew Cherniwchan

Defensemen: Bond (17), Flemming (29), Bohumil Jank (47), Joe Finley (59), Samuel Carrier (65), Dmitri Orlov (81), Ian Ruel (95), Brennan Yadlowski

Goalies: Braden Holtby (70), Dan Dunn (80)

Around 2:30, Group B hit the ice, and I found myself not recognizing many of the faces. The group consisted mostly of invitees, so Meghan and I found it a much more exciting group to watch, simply because we did not know what to expect. Group B consisted of:

Forwards: Greg Burke (54), Felix Lefrancois (67), Caleb Herbert (72), Andy Miele (79), Anthony Pisano (96), Eric Alexander (96), Wade Macleod (64), Garrett Mitchell (76), Trevor Bruess (88), Stanislav Galiev (49), Cameron Burt (71), Marcus Johansson (90)

Defensemen: Patrick Cullity (24), Zach Miskovic (45), Steve Spinell (51), Kristaps Sotnieks (58), Dustin Stevenson (66), Patrick Wey (78), Ryan Lowery (92), Kurt Davis (98),

Goalies: Philipp Grubauer (31), Nauris Enkuzens, Taylor Nelson

The first day, there was a wide variety of drills, most of which were not particularly difficult or hard, though both groups were on the ice for a fair bit of time. We expect it was to allow the players of find their legs for the coaching staff to get an initial feel.  

On Day Two, there was fewer drills, but they lasted for a longer amount of time and were a bit more difficult. They were also more interesting to watch. The players seemed much more comfortable today and were a little more aggressive on the ice. They weren’t shy on hitting and getting rough along the boards.

Overall, most of the prospects did not catch either of our attention greatly, simply because they were average, which is to be expected as such a young age. By far, Cody Eakin (who, tragically, has a haircut reminiscent of a 1970s porn star) and Marcus Johansson were the most impressive out of the bunch, which didn’t take us by surprise.  Kuznetsov, the Capitals’ first round pick this year, as well as our fellow 1992 baby, looked extremely happy to be there, and generally seemed to be enjoying himself. It was adorable. His attitude reminded us of Laich, just having a good time and taking advantage of the opportunity. We also noticed that Joe Finley was chatting with the coaches and trying very earnestly to prove that he belongs in the organization. He obviously wants to be given a chance and be taken seriously. And, good news! Brett Flemming is not so tragically awful as he used to be! Now, he is simply average, not the worst one on the ice, which is a good thing because now Meghan and I don’t feel as silly for liking him.  No one particularly disappointed us, except perhaps, Gustafasson. To us, it just kind of seemed like he wasn’t into it, wasn’t trying as hard as he could. Maybe it was an off day. Who knows. We also noticed that Grubauer, the German goalie drafted this year, has a lot of vulnerable spots in his goaltending. As Meghan put it, “His five hole was gaping”. But, we’ve got to remember he is only 18.

Overall, it was exciting to see what the future holds for the Caps organization.

Now, as for the silly things that happened, we managed to have two more elevator adventures. On Day One, we found ourselves in the elevator with Stevenson (who we now adore) and another prospect, who we think was Mitchell on the way back from lunch. And, I’m proud to say that at least one of the prospects (Stevenson) knows his manners and full-on held the door for us, which redeemed prospects from the Holtby incident last year. I’m pretty sure we freaked him out with our over-excited “thank-yous!”. The second happened on Day Two, where we road the elevator down to lunch with Miskovic and two others. During the ride, Miskovic decided he would try to hold the “door close” button on the elevator to prevent it from stopping on other floors 0.o

Also, has anyone else noticed that Sean Wiles looks like Ovechkin from far away? Of course, not by skill, I mean looks (thankfully, though, he is not that unfortunate looking). Seriously, look!

It was a fun two days. We may be going on Saturday if we find the time and/or muster up the will to be around so many obnoxious people. If we do attend the scrimmage, expect another recap then. Pictures will be posted sometime tomorrow and linked on here as well as our twitter (@hockeychronicle).

For more official coverage of development camp/other points of view, be sure to check out Japers’ Rink. To view videos taken from camp by the capitals, go here.

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Filed under Anna's Blog, Cody Eakin, Development Camp, Marcus Johansson, Washington Capitals, Zach Miskovic

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

When your two Chronicles bloggers went to Caps Development Camp and Rookie Camp we both agreed that we liked three prospects in particular; Cody Eakin, Dimtry Kugryshev, and Casavant and expected them to be signed soonest, particularly of the ’09 draft picks. The only thing we didn’t agree on was Anna chose Eakin over Kugryshev and I the opposite.

Well the Capitals signed Kugryshev to a entry level contract today and plan for him to play in Hershey next year. Of course we all know Eakin was signed a while back so we’re both just awesomesauce as this prospect picking thing. Two out of three and plenty of time to go on that third.

So to say I’m excited for Kugryshev to be in Hershey next year is an understatement.

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Filed under Cody Eakin, Development Camp, Hershey Bears, Meghan's Blog, Rookie Camp, Washington Capitals

New Fangled

The Chronicles now has a Flickr account for easy uploading of pictures from Capitals/Hockey events we attend it’s http://flickr.com/hockeychronicles
I have my photos from the pre-game warm ups last night, Development camp and Rookie camp this summer up loaded.

Um… that is all.

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Filed under Capitals Events, Development Camp, Important Site Stuff, Meghan's Blog, Rookie Camp, Washington Capitals

And the Post We’ve All Been Waiting For…

I went to the scrimmage for the last day of development camp today and it was great. Got there nice and early and found seats right on the ice near the goal of the Blue team which happened to have several of our favorite prospects on it. Well my opinion on them later. The bleachers filled up pretty fast and people crowded on an upstairs balcony and stood against the glass at the far end of the rink to watch the prospects.

It was a who’s who of the Capitals’ world; GMGM, Ted (who was wearing some very bright green shorts with this brown shirt someone did not get fashion checked before they left the house this morning), Smokin’ Al Koken, Mike Vogal, and trusty side kick Stretch, several trainers I knew vaguely by face, Bruce and most excitingly Brooks Laich.

Well about in the second period I brought up how incredibly lame it was Brooks was not there since he had shown up the day before. Anna and I ranted a good minute about that when we both looked across the ice. At first I wasn’t sure I was seeing it right, so I looked at Anna who was giving me the same look, and then I cried in a way I’m sure our bench buddy did not appreciate “That’s him!” Seeing as that’s the closest I’ve ever been to a Cap, not even at games: cheap seats, I must say I got much more excited than I normally would or should. He talks an awful lot and between the second and third period he randomly came out of the locker room with what me and Anna agree was the ugliest colored polo shirt we had seen, I said it was puke green but I’m the first to admit I have color tint issues, so I believe Anna more when she says it was a baby yellow and had thin blue horizontal stripes.

After the scrimmage in which the blue team lost 2-4 we decided to mosey over to the hallway all the prospects had to go through to get to their cars and watch the super uber fans creep all over them. After a while we were moved down the hallway a bit cause it was kinda crowded right by the gate and none other than Bruce comes up the hallway behind me. As he passes he says “Hello!” with out prompting or anything so we go “Hi!” back rather excitedly and its been decided we will now be best friends and go golfing and make Caddy Shack references all day. I think we got more excited about that than anything else that had happened so far.

Well after watching all the prospects leave and trying to figure out who was who of the prospects we didn’t recognize we walked out to the pro shop area and there’s a table for that smoothie stand that has the Capitals themed cups. I’ve been searching for these cups forever. And they have like twenty thousand (okay maybe like fifteen) on this display table. So I’m very excited cause I think I’m finally going to get one. So I get behind a guy to see if I can buy a cup and the guy asks before I do “How can I get one of these cups?” and Smoothie Lady says “You have to go to the store.” Why? Can’t I pay you like the price of a smoothie and just get the freaking cup? There wasn’t even that particular chain of smoothie store in Ballston mall, ask Anna I dragged her all over the mall to find one. So now me and Smoothie Lady are archenemies.

Speaking of archenemies; as you may or may not know I hate the Washington Post and really dislike Tarik El-Bashir becuase neither can fact check for their lives. Well in the hall way I was leaning against the window of an office when Anna points out she hadn’t noticed someone in the office so I look for a millisecond and see a guy and turn back assuming he’s no one in particular. Well after the guy left Anna points out with a gasp a little sign in front of that guys little part of the desk that says “Tarik El-Bashir Washington Post” EL GASP! My archenemy a mere thin sheet of glass I was leaning on a part from me.

After there was pretty much no more hockey related stuff to do we went into the mall to see if we could rustle up some food (and one of those damn cups) because I hadn’t eaten breakfast and was hungry enough to gnaw through any unattended sticks lying about. Well we’re on the epic smooth cup quest when we see none of than prospect Flemming and some other prospect who I didn’t know wandering around the mall too. We didn’t go up to them or anything but it was pretty cool.

Overall it was just about the best hockey related day I’ve had ever hands down.

Now about the actual prospects who I was impressed by:

Mathieu Perreault was fantastic I want to see him in DC at one point in the season. He’s tiny too. 5’8″ and thin.

Casavant surprised me for being a seventh round pick. He was really good. On a side note the uncanny resemblance to Jose it even uncannier in person.

Finley despite feud with him threw his weight around like he should.

Eakin has speed. Like extremely fast.

Those are the name that stand out in my mind in particular. Carlson seemed to be having an off day and Gus wasn’t able to play due to his face injury from the scrimmage Thursday. Della Rova didn’t play either also due to an injury. Overall the prospects played very well and I’m really pleased with what I’m seeing.

And now some pictures from the day:

Miskovic and another prospect a moment after a small collision

Eakin stretches out during warm-up

Flemming (?) smooshes one of the other prospects in to the boards

The only good thing about this picture is note Brooksie and injured prospect Della Rovere in backround

That’s only a couple but I thought those were the most blog worthy.

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Filed under Brooks Laich, Development Camp, Meghan's Blog, Washington Capitals

Mhm.

Finally, after a week of complaining about how I was at writing camp INSTEAD of watching the Development Camp, Meghan and I went to Day 6’s scrimmage, and I only have one word for you: amazing.

It’s good to see that so many of the Capitals prospects are so talented, with bright and shining futures ahead of them. Watching them play, I knew I was watching the shining stars of tomorrow play… Wow, that sounded really lame, but you cannot tell me it ISN’T true. Some highlights of the day were:

  • Getting there at 9:15AM, and getting seats right in front of the glass, right before the curve, on the left side of the rink.
  • Watching Eakin (!), Carlson, Orlov, Wey, Casavant, Kugryshev, and one of my new favourites, Eric Mestery, all playing on the same team, blue.
  • Seeing Brooksy across the rink! I have incredibly crappy pictures :]
  • Hanging around afterwards, seeing all the players, but only taking the time to meet Eakin, and take a picture with him!
  • While hanging out in a random hallway, Boudreau walks by Meghan and I, and says ‘hello’. AND WE DIDN’T EVEN INITIATE THE GREETING!
  • Wandering around the mall, and seeing Flemming and a yet-to-be-determined-prospect, shopping.

It was a good day. Meghan and I will have pictures soon.

– Anna

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Filed under Anna's Blog, Brooks Laich, Development Camp, Washington Capitals

Brooks Laich… Maybe You Need a Hobby?

Brooksie showed up to development camp today according to On Frozen Blog well after apologizing to my wall for throwing my Ipod at it, I hadn’t drank my coffee yet I was a little dramatic, I congratulated my self for calling it. I was just thinking on Monday how I wouldn’t be surprised Brooksie if had popped in to see the prospects. I hope he’s there on Saturday. Maybe he needs a summer hobby? Anna suggested knitting. I think roller hockey could be fun. Summer baseball league? I mean Scarlet Capitals (restrain you giggles) said your a big baseball fan. Any coincidence you showed up the night the prospects are going to a Nats game?

Speaking of development camp if you can’t be there besides my tweeting through out the day there will be some sort of live blogging session with several who’s who’s of the Capital’s blogging world through On Frozen Blog. But Meghan, you must be saying, you weren’t invited? But, your our favorite! Ha ha my friends anyway there will be the On Frozen Blog staff, Reed of Capitals Kremlin, Miss Va a former college women’s hockey goalie, John from the Hershey Bears blog, and a new comer from a new blog called the Capital Letter and a few others. You can ask questions and potentially win a On Frozen Blog mug (oh la la).

Looking forward to watching the scrimmage and getting in to shenanigans in general tomorrow. Impressions and finally my actually informed opinion Saturday evening some time.

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Filed under Brooks Laich, Development Camp, Meghan's Blog, Washington Capitals